Chennai: Members of Korattur Aeri Padukappu Makkal Iyakkam (KAPMI) have been working on several lakes in recent times, including restoration and maintenance projects.
Their recent uptake was Korattur lake itself and the group had toiled hard for a week to bring about a change at the near 600 acre waterbody.
A J Krishna Kumar, member of KAPMI speaking to News Today, said, “The government did some desilting work back in 2015. We decided that we will do some work ourselves to keep the lake clean and that is how it started.”
The team got due permission from authorities, having applied for it, to work at the lake for 30 days. “We insisted on having a formal paperwork, for any issues can be avoided. We were given that and work started last Sunday,” said Krishna Kumar.
The team brought in earthmovers and set about clearing seemai karuvelam and velikathan shrubs and other invasive weeds in the lake. The members of the group said they decided to bring in the machine for it can complete the work faster.
KAPMI team has nine official members and several others, while people from other NGOs and social activists lend their hand whenever possible. Sunderraman from the neighbourhood is leading the efforts of the group.
To date, the team has worked for seven days and has actively cleared shrubs and transferred sand to form a small lake island. “We cannot take the sand or silt outside. Authorities do not allow it. However, we decided to make use of it and develop the island. Birds love it,” smiles Krishna Kumar. KAPMI members have spent more than Rs three lakh on the process.
The 40-year-old welcomed the State government’s Kudimaramathu scheme that saw nearly Rs 500 crore allocated for water projects all over Tamilnadu. “Chennai is receiving Rs 93 crore for about 227 works. Hopefully Korattur lake is also a part of it,” he said.
That is the sole aim of the group, according to the members. “We want to capture the attention of the government and aid them in restoring the waterbody,” they say. “If the lake is revived, just like Retteri is used for water supply, Korattur lake can also be used. People will not pollute the water if their drinking water comes from the lake nearby,” they added.
The group members also pointed out that they will be planting some saplings at the spot. However, they stated that safety is a concern at the spot and ample protection is needed at the earliest.